Work on a long-awaited new fire station in the centre of Barnsley could begin in around five months, provided no obstacles to the development emerge.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, the brigade’s ruling body, has been planning a new station to replace outdated buildings at Broadway, for years as part of a wider revamp which will cost millions of pounds.
But the work has been slow to start, held up in part by internal changes which has seen departments reorganised and staff go to help save money.
However, Coun Chris Lamb, the authority’s chairman, has told Barnsley Council the pre-planning process has started for the project and that could result in “spades in the ground” in around five months’ time.
He was responding to a question from Lib Dem Coun Hannah Kitching, who represents the Penistone West ward, as to when the station was likely to emerge.
Coun Lamb said it was important the project was done in a way which ensured the design was future-proofed and a three bay building was planned, meaning there would be space to house specialist vehicles there in future, if necessary.
He told a full meeting of Barnsley Council: “There has been a slight delay, it has been slower than any authority member would have wished.
“As of yesterday, the scheme was submitted to our planning department for pre-planning advice. That process is now ongoing.
“What we all wanted to do was take time to get the scheme right, we are talking about £6m expenditure. It is not something we are going to rush.
“There has been a lot of discussion to ensure it is fit for service, future proofed and gives residents value for money,” he said.